Despite the challenges of distance learning during pandemics, public school systems across the United States have increasingly implemented virtual academies to cater to families who find distance learning the most. effective for their children. I am.

A majority of the 38 public education sectors that responded to the Associated Press survey this summer indicated that additional permanent virtual schools and programs will be implemented over the next school year.

Parental demand is driven to some extent by virus issues, but there is also a preference for the flexibility and independence associated with remote instructions. And the school district is keen to maintain subsequent enrollments. Watch the students go For virtual charters, home schooling, private schools and other options, a reduction that can result in a reduction in funding.

“This is the future,” said Dan Domenech, executive director of the American School Administrators Association. “Some of these states may deny it now, but soon they are lining up because they see the benefits when they see other states doing it. You have to align yourself. “

New Jersey mother Karen Strauss lost her brother-in-law in a pandemic. Her vaccinated teenager returns straight away, but she wants to stay at Bridgewater until her five-year-old can shoot. According to Strauss, Logan excels online under the guidance of a teacher.

“If home learning is best for them, why not do it? What is the reason, if not that people are afraid of change? ” She said.

School district plans for a gradual increase in long-term, full-time virtual programs have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Students in the virtual academy are usually educated separately from other students in the district.

In Virginia, before the pandemic, most locally run virtual programs offered one-to-one lessons only to students in grades 6 to 12, offering full-time instruction. Was almost nonexistent. In the new school year, 110 of 132 federal school districts will use Virtual Virginia, a state-owned kindergarten to high school program, to deliver some or all of full-time virtual education, spokesperson said. . said Charles Pile. So far, he said, 7,636 students are enrolling full-time in the fall, compared to just 413 for the 2019-20 academic year.

Elsewhere, authorities in Tennessee approved 29 new online schools in the 2021-22 school year. That’s more than double the number created over the past decade, spokesman Brian Blackley said. Colorado has increased in number from the year before the pandemic, according to spokesperson Jeremy Meyer, with 20 requests for permanent online options for a single district and permanent multi-districts. Submitted 6 applications for online schools in Colorado. Minnesota also saw a significant increase, with 26 new online providers approved in July and 15 applications still pending.

This year in New Mexico, where schools, like most states, require schools to offer face-to-face learning, Rio Rancho public schools are using federal relief funds to add a K-5 SpaRRk academy fully insulated. Made. According to a survey, nearly 600 students in a family of 7,500 students are interested in pursuing virtually, including those who prefer to be more involved in the education of their children. Janna Chenault, elementary school improvement manager, said.

“We changed classes to start, but we’re going to be K-5 because we were interested in some of the kindergarten parents and wanted to keep them in our district. », Declared Chenault.

The delta-variant epidemic and increasing prevalence cast a shadow at the start of the school year, but President Joe Biden and educators across the country were concerned, mainly due to concerns that many were underserved. , Encourages a return to face-to-face teaching. Through distance education.

Texas test scores show the percentage of students reading at grade level fell to the lowest level since 2017, while math scores fell to the lowest points since 2013. Distance learners driving the decline.. Test results in Louisiana also showed that public school students who took face-to-face lessons during a coronavirus pandemic were superior to those who relied on distance learning.

In the pre-pandemic investigation, Fully virtualized school performance.. According to a 2019 report from the National Education Policy Center, the data was limited by various reporting and accountability requirements, but was rated acceptable on 320 virtual schools with performance reviews available. Was only 48.5%.

However, according to Domenech, families looking for a virtual school often have strong students who feel trapped in the classroom.

“These are spontaneous students who are probably already doing very well in the top 10% of their classes. Therefore, distance learning is a great opportunity for individual learning to allow them to grow at their own pace. He says. Noted.

Before the pandemic, 691 fully virtualized public schools enrolled 293,717 students in the 2019-2020 school year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This is compared to 478 schools with just under 200,000 enrollments in 2013-14. Predictions for next year are not available, according to NCES.

Approaches to distance learning vary from state to state and, as in Idaho, decisions are entirely up to the local committee. Districts may also need state approval to operate their own online schools outside of schools that may exist for students statewide.

Massachusetts needs detailed suggestions from districts that need equitable access, curriculum, and documented demand. Arizona’s new online school will be accredited until it proves academic integrity through student grades.

At least some of the school district’s virtual schools may never accept students. In North Carolina, 52 districts have planned a fully virtualized school, but some districts have been set up as emergency response plans as needed, said Mary, a spokesperson for National Education. Lee Gibson said.

Some parents are against it in states such as New Jersey, Texas and Illinois, which have removed a wide range of distance options and limited them to students under special circumstances.

“We’re not trying to stop anyone from going back to school or trying to get the world back to normal,” said Deborah Odor, the New Jersey mother. She wants sons and daughters too young to be vaccinated to continue this year in remote areas for health reasons.

“We had no choice,” said Odor, who is part of a group of parents who are asking to change him.

Many parents had difficult experiences with e-learning during the pandemic, but they often saw versions implemented with little planning. Michael Barber, who studies online learning at the University of Turo in California, said parents who left a negative impression of distance learning could slow their overall growth.

“Even if they were offered this option three or five years later, this kind of experience polluted them,” he said.

Pandemic sparks boom in virtual services for schools in United States | Domestic and Global

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